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Ask The Wildcat Word: With Sophia and Leah

The first batch of burning questions
Natalia Tomahatsch
Leah Pereira (left) and Sophia Schlichtmann (right)

Hello! Welcome to the first installation of The Wildcat Word: The New Hampshire’s unprofessional student-run advice column. We’re so glad you’re here. 

If you submitted a question via the link in our introduction article, or through one of the ominous QR codes around campus, we thank you. Remember, we answer a new batch of questions every week, so keep ‘em coming! If you’d like to submit your own question, our Google form can be found here. If you don’t see your question here, fear not. Questions that have not been answered in this column will either be addressed in upcoming columns or via TikTok, so stay tuned! 

Without further ado, here are our responses to your (very interesting) questions.


Q: “What are the best coffee spots around Durham?”

I haven’t been to all of the coffee places in Durham (yet), but I feel like you can’t really go wrong with any of them. Say what you want about UNH, but we can pretty much always get a good iced coffee. 

Starting with the elephant in the room, we literally have a Dunkin Donuts (Dunks) in the MUB. Whenever I tell my non-UNH friends that we have Dunks in the middle of campus, nine times outta ten, they can’t believe it. Right now at Dunkin, I’ve been obsessed with the Hazelnut Heartthrob coffee (hazelnut and caramel), but my go-to order is an iced hazelnut latte with oat milk. 

Sophia (left) and Leah (right) with Dunkin’ Donuts coffee. (Natalia Tomahatsch)

For the Dunkin haters out there, Starbucks products are sold at Zeke’s (Dimond Library) and Cornerstone 1926 (Paul College). If you’re not in the mood for chain restaurant coffee, there are plenty of places downtown to get your daily dose of caffeine. 

Personally, I love Freedom Café which is located on Main Street. Not only does it have a great selection of coffee and tea, but it is the perfect place to chill and get work done. Another plus is that the proceeds are donated to help fight against human trafficking.

A little closer to campus on Main Street is Breaking New Grounds. With a more industrial vibe, Breaking New Grounds has great coffee to go along with its cozy ambiance. With all of these options (and more!) it’s almost impossible to go decaffeinated while on campus. 

Let us know if there are any places we missed, maybe we’ll make a video on them! 

– Leah


Q: “How do you hike in college woods without getting lost?”

Getting lost in college woods isn’t on my bucket list either, but don’t worry, it’s almost impossible to do unless you’re trying. 

The university does a great job of making the woods safely accessible to students as long as you stay on the trails. There is fairly easy-to-follow signage that can direct you throughout the woods as well as nicely designated trails to keep you on your way. At the bottom of the College Woods page, there is a printable recreation map that you can keep on you if you’re trying to be extra cautious. 

If you choose to err on the side of danger and go off trail, there’s not much I can do for you. Maybe leave a trail of crumbs?



Q: “Which place is the best place to thrift around UNH?”

Almost all of the clothing shops in Durham are sustainable thrift or consignment (with the exceptions of the UNH merch stores of course).

I personally love a good thrift store that doesn’t break the bank, or list pieces at the exact same prices as retail or more…I do feel like my answer to this question may be controversial for those loyal to their chosen Durham thrift store. However, my personal favorite is Echo Thrift Shop, located in the basement of the Community Church of Durham. I have found the prices at Echo Thrift to be very affordable. A notable find from Echo was a vintage Scott Mcklintok lace button-down blouse that cost $6 (I have included a picture of me wearing the top for reference). Not only does Echo Thrift Shop have cool finds, it is completely volunteer-run and benefits several local charities including Friends in Action, The Cocheco Valley Humane Society, Dover Soup Kitchen, Cornucopia Food Pantry, Families First, Goodwin Community Health, Operation Blessing, Crossroads House and more. Echo Thrift is having a big winter sale until March 15: everything is $5 or less! 

Sophia wearing a $6 Scott McClintock blouse from Echo Thrift Shop. (Callum Heller)

If you’re familiar with Echo Thrift already and would like something a little higher end, I recommend New Moon Consignment. New Moon can be a little pricey with vintage and designer items, but their pieces are well-taken care of, and if you like something on their Instagram you can DM them to purchase. I have one piece in my closet from New Moon: a $20 pair of bootcut Loft jeans. 

Last, but certainly not least, is Revolution Retro, formerly known as Topanga Canyon Vintage. The owner, Lena, is so sweet, and the store is a great inclusive space; their Instagram bio literally states “fierce fashion radical inclusion.” If your vibes are anything from grandma core to hippie to bright and bold vintage, I would definitely recommend Revolution Retro. 

Moral of the story: you should go on a Durham sustainable fashion street crawl if you haven’t yet. Side note: for a full-fledged crawl, plan to go on a weekday before 4 p.m. when Echo Thrift is open. 



Q: “How do I get to Aldi without a car?”

Not having a car on campus can be tricky–this is coming from someone who doesn’t even have a license yet (working on it). Even sadder, I’ve never been to Aldi. However, I suppose someone who is able to drive a car, and who has experienced the good graces of Aldi, would be utterly devastated to have those two things ripped away from them. Fear not, for I have solutions to your car-less and affordable snack-less woes. 

The nearest Aldi is located 8 miles from UNH at 828 Central Avenue in Dover. The trip to the nearest Aldi would be 15 minutes by car, and a less desirable 2 hours and 45 minutes by foot. 

There are four ways to get to Aldi: 

  1. Drive (not applicable) 
  2. Walk (are you okay?) 
  3. Uber (convenient, but around 20 dollars each way) 
  4. Bus (free, 11 minute walk) 

If you are a frequent Aldi flyer I suppose you appreciate a good deal. In my opinion, the best deal is taking Wildcat Transit. I know the bus can be tricky to decipher, so I have plugged things into Google Maps to find the most convenient route. I suggest taking the 3A or 3B Dover schedule and getting off at the Wentworth Douglass Hospital stop. After getting off at the stop Aldi is an 11-minute walk away. Happy shopping.


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